Shillong: The Meghalaya Early Childhood Development Mission in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society introduced boiled eggs to the existing Supplementary Nutrition Programme on the just celebrated Independence Day in 250 Model Anganwadi Centers, which is targeted to benefit 13,000 beneficiaries in the first phase, an official said on Wednesday.
“It is noteworthy to mention that this is the first time that distribution of boiled eggs is being initiated under the Meghalaya Early Childhood Development Mission in collaboration with the State department of social welfare,” an official said, adding that this is an addition to the hot cooked meals provided by Integrated Child Development Scheme centers to children between the age group of 3-6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers across 46 blocks within the state,” the official informed.
“The introduction of egg distribution is facilitated because eggs are known to be a good source of protein, iron, vitamin A, D, E and K, choline and Omega 3 fatty acids which boosts brain development and overall well-being amongst children,” the official said.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “This is our endeavour to ensure children, pregnant and lactating mothers receive adequate nutrition in their hot cooked meals at the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. This initiative also involves our Self Help Groups promoted by National Rural Livelihoods Mission who supply eggs to the Centres.”
The Mission has rolled out the provision of eggs on a pilot basis for an interim period of 3 months from August 15 to November 15 next and the supply of eggs will eventually be rolled out across all villages in a phased manner through a decentralized procurement process in line with Asian Development Bank Procurement Guidelines.
The Meghalaya Early Childhood Development Mission is a mission focused on providing motor and cognitive development, socio-emotional development, health and nutrition and early education development as key areas for the holistic development of children in the state.
The Mission is currently catering to 1,554 villages, which are not being covered under the Integrated Child Development Scheme programme.